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Now a major film starring Academy Award nominees Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling

Now a major film starring Academy Award nominees Jim Broadbent (Iris) and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.

Now Tony is retired. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.

Reviews

A masterpiece... I would urge you to read - and re-read - The Sense of an Ending

Daily Telegraph

Mesmerising... the concluding scenes grip like a thriller - a whodunit of memory and morality

Independent

A very fine book, skilfully plotted, boldly conceived... Barnes has achieved...something of universal importance

Justin Cartwright, Observer

A precise, poignant portrait of the costs and benefits of time passing, of friendship, of love. A small masterpiece

Erica Wagner, The Times

A wonderful story that is all too human and all so real

Irish Times

An extremely moving, a precise book about the imprecision of memory and how it constructs people, stories and histories.

Alasitair Bruce, Guardian

From the moment that we hear from the woodworm which snuck aboard Noah’s ark to the final pages of the novel, Barnes interrogates moral dilemmas and motivations. These tales could easily be read is isolation, but are much better when consumed as a whole.

WeAreTheCity

A masterpiece... I would urge you to read - and re-read - The Sense of an Ending

Daily Telegraph

Mesmerising... the concluding scenes grip like a thriller - a whodunit of memory and morality

Independent

A very fine book, skilfully plotted, boldly conceived... Barnes has achieved...something of universal importance

Justin Cartwright, Observer

A precise, poignant portrait of the costs and benefits of time passing, of friendship, of love. A small masterpiece

Erica Wagner, The Times

A wonderful story that is all too human and all so real

Irish Times

A dexterously crafted narrative...quivering not just with tension but with psychological, emotional and moral reverberation...overlaid with witty portrayal of the contemporary London scene and spot-on period evocation in harkings back to the class and sexual mores of the early 1960s... Uncovering, link by link, an appalling chain reaction of briefly wished-for revenge, almost accidental damage, and remorse that agonisingly bites after most of a lifetime, it's a harsh tale rich in humane resonances

Sunday Times

Like Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, which it resembles...its effect is disturbing - all the more so for being written with Barnes's habitual lucidity. His reputation will surely be enhanced by this book. Do not be misled by its brevity. Its mystery is as deeply embedded as the most archaic of memories

Anita Brookner, Daily Telegraph

Without overstating his case in the slightest, Barnes's story is a meditation on the unreliability and falsity of memory; on not getting it the first time round - and possibly not even the second, either. Barnes's revelation is richly ambiguous... It subverts not only the conventions of the where-are-the-snows-of-yesteryear fiction...but also the redeemed-lonely-old-man novel...and also the very notion that towards the end of our lives we see things more clearly

Evening Standard

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Formats & editions

Also by Julian Barnes

Death
The Noise of Time
The Only Story
A History Of The World In 10 1/2 Chapters (Vintage Past)
Keeping an Eye Open
Levels of Life
Through the Window
A Short History of Hairdressing (Storycuts)
Bark / The Silence (Storycuts)
Appetite (Storycuts)
The Things You Know (Storycuts)
The Story of Mats Israelson (Storycuts)
The Revival (Storycuts)
The Fruit Cage (Storycuts)
Knowing French (Storycuts)
Hygiene (Storycuts)
Vigilance (Storycuts)
Pulse
Staring At The Sun
Metroland
Before She Met Me
Talking It Over
A History Of The World In 10 1/2 Chapters
Flaubert's Parrot

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
Best Laid Plans
Fool Me Once
The Golden House
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Voyager
Swing Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Girls
Cold Blood
Fifty Shades Darker
The Trip of a Lifetime
Colombiano
The Light Between Oceans
Ready Player One